‘Intercepting easily distracted audiences’ is a key tourism marketing strategy: Expedia global VP

Intercepting easily distracted audiences is an opportunity that marketers should be taking advantage of, the Expedia global senior VP of the media team has told a room of marketers.

Dance and Tratt speaking at Mumbrella’s Travel Marketing Summit

Noah Tratt said travel marketers should not make assumptions about the intentions of their target market based on their content habits as it will create lost opportunities.

“There is a huge segment of the travel planning audience that is easily distracted and influenced,” he said.

“We had multiple sessions where people would chose something like a Niagara Falls, and would end up doing a bunch of research on Niagara Falls and then booking a trip to Mexico.

“There is an opportunity when we make assumptions about what our audiences are searching for, we might miss out on a huge opportunity to influence people who wouldn’t have even been in our considering in targeting but are worth talking to and worth our reach.”

Speaking with Tratt on the ‘Discover your Aloha’ campaign at Mumbrella’s Travel Marketing Summit, Leslie Dance, VP of marketing and product development at Hawai’i Tourism Authority, said one of the reasons the campaign was so successful was because it had a brand centric message.

“It starts with the high level brand message and then it works it way all the way down to conversion, all in one thing. That’s like the marketer’s dream because that coupled with real time data we’re allowed to get and be able to fix and move things around if need be,” she said.

With travel a hugely competitive industry, marketers should see their competition as a new marketing competition, Tratt said.

“You have your competitive set and you have programs that work for you, but if you’re a beach destination for example you’re probably paying a tonne to target beach destination searchers, that’s a targeting parameter which can tend to be fairly competitive,” he said.

“I would look at it as a marketing opportunity, what other segments could you target that might be less competitive.”

Reflecting on the ‘Aloha Hawaii Campaign’ which used facial recognition and personalised marketing, Dance said companies should be authentic and focus on what makes specific destinations unique.

“What’s your special snowflake or in this case special starfish?

“It’s not just the food and wine either we have to think about what’s inspiring and authentic to our brand. Don’t be afraid to get specific and go back to your roots. Dig into your history, your masterpieces, your people, your services and your offerings,” Dance said during the session.

Tratt concurred, offering additional advice to marketers ensuring necessary conversations are had from the very beginning.

“You have to get things right upfront and have those hard conversations and make those trade off’s upfront.”


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